1. Use a time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel that the time was wasted.
2. Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for.
3. Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water.
4. Every sentence must do one of two things – reveal character or advance the action.
5. Start as close to the end as possible.
6. Be a sadist. No matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them in order that the reader may see, what they are made of.
7. Write to please just one person. If you open the window and make love to the world, so to speak, the story will get pneumonia.
8. Give your readers as much information as possible as soon as possible. To heck with suspense – the reader should have such complete understanding of what is going on, where, what and why, that they can finish the story themselves, should cockroaches eat the last few pages.